FAQ

When does the 65th Sydney Film Festival take place?

6 to 17 June 2018.

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How do I submit my film to the Sydney Film Festival?

Details of how to submit your film, along with SFF regulations and entry fee requirements are available at: FilmFestivalLife.

Film Festival Life Submit

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When is the submission deadline?

The closing date for entries are as follows:

  • International productions (any length): 31 January 2018
  • Australian productions (any length): 28 February 2018
  • Dendy Awards for Australian Short Films: 28 February 2018
  • Documentary Australia Foundation Award for Best Documentary: 23 March 2018

Please note that this is the date by which your online submission should be completed, fee paid, and link uploaded. This is especially important if you are submitting to the Dendy Awards for Australian Short Films, because entries are submitted to the jury immediately after the closing date.

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Can you mail or fax me a submission form?

No. We only accept online applications through FilmFestivalLife.

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Where can I find out if my film is eligible for the Sydney Film Festival?

Full SFF regulations are available at: FilmFestivalLife.

For the general program: entries must have been completed in the prior year; films over 40 minutes in length must not have previously screened in public in New South Wales or Sydney; films under 40 minutes in length they must not have screened in public in Greater Sydney (with the exception of entries to the Dendy Awards*).

Note: a public screening is any screening open to the public, this includes festivals, previews, broadcast, theatrical screenings and online.  Cast & crew screenings, which are invitation only, and not open to the public are not considered public screenings.

*For the Dendy Awards, a previous public screening is not a bar to entry – your film can have screened anywhere, in cinemas, online or other festivals. Cast & crew screenings, which are invitation only, and not open to the public are not considered public screenings.

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What are the submission fees?

Sydney Film Festival 2018 features (over 40 minutes): $80.00

Sydney Film Festival 2018 shorts (under 40 minutes): $47.00

Documentary Australia Foundation for Australian Documentary Prize: $45.00

Dendy Awards Live action short film (under 40 minutes): $40.00

Yoram Gross Animation Award (under 40 minutes): $40.00

 

All fees are in Australian dollars and include appropriate taxes.


Please note: Submission fees cannot be waived.

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How can I pay the submission fee?

Once you have completed your online form, you will be provided with payment details: FilmFestivalLife. Note: we only accept payment by credit card (MasterCard and Visa). Please do not send cheques, money orders or cash.

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I want to submit my film to the Dendy Awards competition but I’d also like it to be considered for the general Festival. Is this possible, and do I have to fill out two online forms or make two separate payments?

Australian productions eligible for Dendy Awards should only submit to that competition. If you are not a finalist in the Award and your film meets the eligibility criteria for a general Festival screening, you don’t need to fill out a second submission online - your film will be automatically considered for the general Festival program (if it meets all the criteria for the Festival) at the same time as it is considered for the Dendy Awards.

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If I enter my film in the general Festival program, is it automatically considered for the Dendy Awards?

No.  It works the other way around. If your film is entered in the Dendy Awards and is not shortlisted as a finalist, it is automatically considered for the general Festival program (if it meets all the criteria for the Festival).  If you only enter the general Festival program, your film will not be considered for the Dendy Awards.

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If my film has already screened in Australia, NSW or Sydney, can I still submit to SFF?

If your film screens publicly in Sydney prior to 18 June 2018, it is not eligible for submission to SFF. The only exception being Australian productions under 40 minutes in length, completed in last year, which may be eligible to enter the Dendy Awards (check the criteria FilmFestivalLife).

Your film cannot be submitted if:

  • it is under 40 minutes in length and screens in Sydney prior to 18 June 2018 (with the exception of the Dendy Awards);
  • it is over 40 minutes in length and screens in Sydney or New South Wales prior to 18 June 2018.

 

Your film can be submitted if:

  • it is under 40 minutes in length and screens in New South Wales or Australia, but not Sydney, prior to 18 June 2018 (with the exception of the Dendy Awards);
  • it is over 40 minutes in length and screens in Australia, but not Sydney or New South Wales, prior to 18 June 2018.

 

Note: a public screening is any screening open to the public, this includes festivals, previews, broadcast, theatrical screenings and online. Cast & crew screenings, which are invitation only, and not open to the public are not considered public screenings.

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What do I do if I’ve missed the deadline?

Please email jenny@sff.org.au – we do our best to be flexible wherever possible, however, with entries to competitive sections we do not accept further submissions once the jury or selection panel has commenced viewing.

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How do I enter the Event Cinemas Australian Short Screenplay Award?

The Event Cinemas Australian Short Screenplay Award, sponsored by Event Cinemas, provides at $5,000 cash prize for best short screenwriting. All Australian short fiction films selected for the Festival are eligible for this Award, and are automatically in the running for the prize.

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Can I submit a film that is a work-in-progress?

Works-in-progress [WIPs] are accepted for the main program and Documentary Australian Foundation for Australian Documentary competition provided that the film is intended to be completed by April 2018. WIPs are not accepted for the Dendy Awards or Yoram Gross Animation Award.

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If I have already completed the online submissions form, can I go back to edit information or to update my contact information or my film's screening history?

Once you have completed and submitted the online submissions form, you cannot go back to edit. If you need to change any information you have provided us with, you must email jenny@sff.org.au.

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When will I hear if my work is accepted?

We let every entrant know by email or mail if their work is accepted. We aim to finalise the program by the end of April, however, it may take until early May to let everyone know our programming decisions - so please be patient.

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When do you announce the Festival program?

The complete Festival program is launched in early May, however, a number of titles may be announced earlier – around the beginning of April. Join our mailing list for up-to-date information.

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Is Sydney Film Festival a competitive festival?

SFF conducts the following competitions (only Official Competition is open to productions outside Australia):

- Official Competition

- Documentary Australia Foundation for Australian Documentary Prize

- Dendy Awards for Australian Short Films (Live Action Short and Rouben Mamoulian Award for Best Director)

- Yoram Gross Animation Award

- Event Cinemas Screenplay Award

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Which competitions are open to films from outside Australia?

The only competition open to films produced outside Australia is the Official Competition. 

Only Australian productions, that meet all the eligibility requirements, are eligible to enter the: Documentary Australia Foundation for Australian Documentary Prize, Dendy Awards for Australian Short Films (Live Action Short and Rouben Mamoulian Award for Best Director), Yoram Gross Animation Award or Event Cinemas Screenplay Award.

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What is the Official Competition?

The Official Competition was established to reward new directions in film. SFF will be seeking films that have emotional power and resonance, are audacious, cutting edge and courageous, and go beyond the usual treatment of a subject matter. Films may only enter the 2018 Official Competition by invitation from the SFF. Eligibility requirements are listed in the Festival's rules and regulations at FilmFestivalLife.

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How will the Dendy Awards be judged?

Entries to the Best Live Action Short and Yoram Gross Animation Award categories will be viewed by separate pre-selection panels. A maximum of 10 finalists will be nominated by mid-April 2018 and announced prior to the Festival (around early May). A jury of film industry representatives will select one film from the finalists to be awarded the Best Live Action Short award, which carries a cash prize of $7,000; one film to be awarded the Yoram Gross Animation Award, which carries a cash prize of $5,000; and one film to be awarded The Rouben Mamoulian Award for Best Director, which carries a cash prize of $7,000. The winners will be announced at the Festival's award ceremony on Sunday 17 June.

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Can I enter The Rouben Mamoulian Award?

No, a jury of film industry representatives will select one film from the 10 Dendy Awards finalists to be presented with The Rouben Mamoulian Award for Best Director.

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How will the Documentary Australia Foundation for Australian Documentary competition be judged?

A jury of film industry representatives will select one film from the 10 finalists (selected by the Festival’s programming team) to be awarded the Documentary Australia Foundation for Australian Documentary Prize, which carries a cash prize of $10,000. The prize money cannot be shared between more than one finalist. The winner will be announced at the Festival's award ceremony on Sunday 17 June.

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Does the Festival have an audience award?

The Festival audience is encouraged to rate the films they have viewed on a scale of 1 to 5. The collated results are announced in the week following the Festival.

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How do you decide if a film is 'Australian' or 'International'?

We don't make this distinction based on locations, actors, subject matter, or script. Our general rule is any film with 51% or more Australian financing will be considered an Australian film.

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Can I re-submit my film from last year?

We do not accept re-submitted films. If your film has substantively changed, since your previous submission, please email details to jenny@sff.org.au. Please note: variations to running length, minor additions or changes to the sound track, are not considered substantive.

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Do I have to obtain rights and clearances for the music or other copyrighted material included in my film?

Yes, please review the Rules and Regulations carefully.

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So what are you looking for? What kind of films stand out?

Quality productions from around the world; works which stimulate debate and inform discussion; films of merit which might not otherwise be shown in Sydney; works which promote better understanding among nations through the film medium; and works of innovation.

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